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History Book

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Benedict Gummer has written an history book:-

The Scourging Angel

Nothing experienced in human history, before or since, eclipses the terror, tragedy and scale of the Black Death, the disease which decimated medieval Europe.

The Scourging Angel tells the story of Britain immediately before, during and after this catastrophe. It charts the spread of the plague from its inception in Europe and the moment it strikes the south coast of England, to its devastating march northwards through the British Isles, and provides a full and original account of the aftermath of the pandemic. Against a backdrop of empty homes, half-built cathedrals and pestilence-saturated cities, we see a nation gripped by unimaginable fear, shock and paranoia: infected houses are boarded up with survivors still inside; desperate villagers steal clothes from the corpses of their dead neighbours; men driven mad through grief roam the countryside while the invisible contagion incubates within them.

By the time it burnt itself out in 1350, the plague had left half the population of the British Isles dead. Despite the startling toll of life, however, local and royal government showed an impressive resilience, trade continued and rural estates recovered, and within a decade an English king came close to seizing the French throne. Amidst disaster many found opportunity, as a new society was forged out of the embers of pre-plague existence: labour could now be sold for market value; decimated cities were re-energised by new migrants; long-held assumptions about the nature of authority and man’s place in the world were irrevocably ruptured. The story of the Black Death is ultimately one of survival.

Challenging widely accepted theories about the plague’s spread and effects, The Scourging Angel is the definitive account of the British Isles during one of the greatest catastrophes in human history.

More details on the official website… www.thescourgingangel.com

Benedict Gummer took a Starred Double First in History at Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he was an exhibitioner and scholar.

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